This post is from the report on the July 2014 Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s symposium, “Structural Transitions in Global Agriculture.” The subject is the changing dynamics of global livestock trade.
Echoing the sentiment of other agribusinesses, meat producers and processors pointed to export markets as the key to long-term success. Dhamu Thamodaran, executive vice president and chief commodity hedging officer at Smithfield Foods, explained that meat consumption in the United States has declined over the past 20 years. Assuming this pattern holds, growth is export dependent. Derrell Peel, professor of Agribusiness in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Oklahoma State University, showed that global pork exports have, in fact, increased 37 percent since 2005. Global beef exports have risen approximately 30 percent over the past decade.
Export markets may be the key for the livestock sector to sustain its recent resurgence, but export markets do not come without challenges. One challenge is competition. Thamodaran pointed out that, although the U.S. produces feed relatively inexpensively, the U.S. no longer is the best at raising hogs. Places like Poland and Romania, although they lag in other economic measures, have made dramatic improvements in hog production. Another challenge is currency exchange rates. Although some currency risk can be hedged, it adds a level of complexity and required focus to any organization wanting to expand globally.
Sustainable long-term growth for the livestock sector, therefore, is likely to depend on the strength of export markets. As echoed by agribusinesses at the symposium, Peel noted that China is perhaps the pre-eminent factor underlying the future strength of export markets. Although China is the largest pork producing country, and produces more than the rest of the top 10 producing countries combined, its imports have also grown rapidly. Peel explained that the growth in Chinese imports could quickly lead to China also becoming the largest importer of pork worldwide.
Source: Structural Transitions in Global Agriculture: A Summary of the 2014 Agricultural Symposium – By Nathan Kauffman, Assistant Vice President and Omaha Branch Executive.
Proteins can be found on farms in all 50 states and include chicken, beef, eggs, catfish, trout, lentils, ducks, geese, sheep, turkeys, and nuts.
Look at the concentrated dairy in the mild desert regions of the country.
These maps were provided by the USDA, from its last census report.
The title of this photo is “Sleep of the Innocent”. It was taken by Maxwell Hamilton @FlickrCC in November of 2013. These farm yard pigs are associated with Hounslow Urban Farm.